Chorley bowling and mini golf venue 'loses £7,000' in Christmas cancellations within hours of Plan B's announcement

The owner appeared on Good Morning Britain to talk about the impact on his business.

By Aimee Seddon
Sunday, 12th December 2021, 10:37 am
Updated Monday, 13th December 2021, 9:54 am

Escape Entertainment Venue in Chorley's Market Walk shopping centre claims it has lost almost £7,000 in Christmas party bookings due to the new Covid restrictions being introduced.

Their loss comes as the Government moved to Plan B earlier this week, due to the increase in the Omicron variant.

These new rules included making it legally mandatory to wear face masks in "most public indoor venues", including theatres and cinemas from December 10, except for "where it's not practical, including while eating, drinking, exercising or singing", and within hours of the new restrictions, many venues saw Christmas party cancellations.

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Escape Entertainment Venue in Chorley's Market Walk has already felt the impact of the new Covid restrictions.

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The owner of Chorley's Escape Entertainment Venue, Ian Kearney, featured on Good Morning Britain on Friday morning to talk about the effects on his business.

The venue reportedly felt the impact of the new restrictions as soon as they were announced, losing almost £7,000 in festive bookings within 48 hours.

Escape Entertainment Venue is home to a bowling alley, mini golf course, snooker, pool, restaurant and a bar, with the new restrictions proving difficult for staff and visitors because only in the bowling alley part are masks mandatory.

Speaking about the restriction's impact on his business, Ian Kearney, said: "I think it's a little loose in terms of the information that came out the other evening, even during the briefing we were receiving phone calls for cancellations for bookings for Christmas events.

"Given we are a hospitality venue we weren't listed in the briefing, it was primarily for venues such as cinemas and theatres etc. and those with 400 capacity.

"The following morning the detail came out on the government website which then included indoor entertainment venues such as ours.

"It's sort of ironic that one has to wear a mask when you cross the steps, but doesn't have to wear a mask when you're sat in the restaurant or having a drink at the bar."

When Good Morning Britain asked about the financial loss, Mr Kearney said: "It's huge, and it comes on the back of a six-figure loss last year because of all the Covid measures that were in place, and of course, as a business, we want to ensure we comply with the measure that the government puts in place but it does become a challenge now to ensure our guests know what's going on day by day."

To find out more about Escape Entertainment Venue or to make a booking, visit its website here.